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In Reply to: RE: ARRIVED! posted by Ivan303 on April 09, 2017 at 16:57:48
Isn't that just Stalinist/Politburo/Russian Commie Party Propaganda fodder?
Wouldn't that pretty much go completely against the music and poetry of the Shost piece?
Severius! Supremus Invictus
If one can divorce the text from the music, "October" is worth a listen.
The composer put a lot of time and effort into the immense piece only to withdraw it out of fear that it would offend. Scary times for Soviet composers, even the Idealist Prokofiev.
October was performed for the first time after Prokofiev's (and Stalin's) death and it still gets resurrected from time to time.
"Revolution" (with it's multitude of notes) is particularly vivid, and who couldn't love a piece that includes four accordions? "Spring" and "Philosophers" are worth a listen as well.
I just want to make sure I've understood you.
You don't care for him?
Even the 8th and 10th syms?
Even the string quartets?
Severius! Supremus Invictus
. . . and, every so often, I'm even forced to grind out some practice and play many of these pieces against my will (both piano concertos, cello concerto, violin concerto - last two movements anyway, cello sonata, piano trio and various smaller pieces). When the music you've heard and/or played by a given composer seems so trashy to you, you generally don't make a point of trying to listen to even more of that composer's music. OTOH, owning (or having owned) the following recordings, I'm very familiar with Prokofiev's great (and far from cheesy!) "Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution":
BTW, thanks for that link (in your previous post) to the Gergiev performance on uTube - I'd forgotten about it. OTOH, this is a work where only the highest fi recordings will do! ;-)
We are talking about arrangers of noise, after all. : )
You've got awhile to go before you're worthy of his muse.
Now THAT'S some fine cheesiness! ;-)
Prokofiev's Op. 74 ("Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution") was written to celebrate the Russian Revolution and the gains of the proletariat consolidated under Stalin. Certainly the text would fall into our ideas of "fodder" (Prokofiev may have simply have considered it patriotic), but the music was considered too dangerous and dissonant for the commissars. At the preliminary audition at the Committee on Arts Affairs, Prokofiev was admonished by Kerzhentsev, "Just what do you think you're doing, Sergey Sergeyevich, taking texts that belong to the people and setting them to such incomprehensible music?" Prokofiev took the "hint" and withdrew the work before it was ever performed publicly. The first performance (not even of the whole work!) took place in 1966 - Prokofiev had been dead for 13 years. I think the recording shown in the OP of this thread was made not long afterwards.
This cantata is IMHO a masterpiece of musical imagination, truly an awesome work! The forces used in this work are in themselve staggering:
Accordion orchestra (bayan concertinas)
Military band (saxhorn family instruments, extra trumpets, French horns, tenor horns, euphonium, tubas, and snare drum)
Percussion ensemble (alarm bells, cannon shot, sirens)
Speaker on megaphone (as the voice of Lenin)
Maxim Gun (I don't even know what a Maxim Gun is!)
(list from the Wikipedia article on this work)
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